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Research Interests:
Arts, Humanities
Discipline: Comparative Literature
Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Dr. Nazry Bahrawi specialises in the study of Muslim texts, thoughts and traditions of Indian Ocean cultures between Southeast Asia and the Middle East. His research is informed by theoretical frameworks from the fields of world literature, literary and critical theory, translation studies and comparative religion.

He is an associate editor of Critical Muslim (Hurst & Co.), a UK-based quarterly of ideas and issues which presents Muslim perspectives on the great debates of our times. An enthusiast of literary translation, Dr. Nazry has translated two Singapore works from Malay to English — Mohamed Latiff Mohamed’s collection of short stories Lost Nostalgia (Ethos: 2017) and Nadiputra’s play Lorong Buang Kok (Cokelat: 2012).

Outside the academia, he has published op-ed commentaries on Southeast Asian culture and society in international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Guardian, South China Morning Post and Today. His broadcast media appearances as a cultural critic include current affairs programmes aired on Al Jazeera, Channel NewsAsia, TRT World and Suria.

Key Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-Reviewed Edited Volume 

Selected Book Chapters

  • “Utopia”. The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Eds.: Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz. Wiley-Blackwell: Malden MA, Jan 2016
  • “Multiculturalism”. The Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Eds.: Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz. Wiley-Blackwell: Malden MA, Jan 2016
  • “Not My Bible’s Keeper: Saramago’s Cain Translates Postsecular Dissent”, Reading the Abrahamic Faiths: Rethinking Religion and LiteratureEds.: Emma Mason and Nazry Bahrawi. London: Bloomsbury, Dec 2014

Selected Essays

  • (In Bahasa) “Dari Dai Nippon Teikoku ke Dai Nippon Kawaii”, Sakura Mekar di Bumi Berdarah: Koleksi Cerpen dan Sajak 75 Tahun Penjajahan Jepun di Singapura, Angkatan Sasterawan ’50: Singapura, 2018
  • “A Tradition of Island Hoping”, The Birthday Book (2017): What Should We Never Forget?, The Birthday Collective: Singapore, 2017
  • “Racialism in the Archipelago”, Critical Muslim (Issue 14): Power. Hurst Publishers: London, Apr 2015
  • “The Devil’s Interpreter: Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd’s Humanistic Hermeneutics”, Critical Muslim (Issue 12): Dangerous Freethinkers. Hurst Publishers: London, Oct 2014
  • “Textual Desires: Islam and Literature in Southeast Asia”, Critical Muslim (Issue 7): Muslim Archipelago. Hurst Publishers: London, Jul 2013
  • “The Andalusi Secular: Enlightenment Ideas in Al-Andalus”, Critical Muslim (Issue 6): Reclaiming Andalusia. Hurst Publishers: London, Apr 2013
  • “Hassan al-Banna, The Pragmatist”Middle East Insights, Middle East Institute-NUS: Singapore, May 2012
  • “Moderate Islam in Southeast Asia and Egypt”, East Asia Forum. Australia National University: Canberra, Australia, Oct 2011

Book Review


  • PhD in Comparative Literature, University of Warwick (2013)
  • MSc in General and Comparative Literature (distinction), University of Edinburgh (2009)
  • BA (Hon.) in English Language and Literature, SIM University (2007)


  • World literature and literary translation
  • Arabic and Malay literature and thought
  • Literature and theology
  • Utopia and dystopia
  • Secularism and modernity
  • Travel narratives


  • National University of Singapore-Middle East Institute Research Fellowship (Postdoctoral), 2011-2016
  • Muhammadiyah Ibnu Sina Award (for PhD studies), 2010-2011
  • Islamic Religious Council of Singapore Postgraduate Scholarship (for PhD studies), 2009-2010
  • British Chevening Scholarship (for Masters degree), 2008-2009